Travel

Where to Stay (on a Budget!) in Amman: Review of Jordan Tower Hotel

During my month traveling through Jordan earlier this year, I spent two weeks in Amman.  While there are a number of things to see and do in the city, Amman is also a great base for exploring the northern and eastern areas of the country (where I found accommodation options to be limited and more expensive than in the capital, particularly during winter!).

When choosing somewhere to stay in the capital city, I knew that I wanted to stay in a central location that was in walking distance to most of the major sights.  I also wanted to find a place that wouldn’t break my budget but was still a pleasant place to stay downtown.  Luckily, I came across Jordan Tower Hotel.

Rooms

The hotel has several types of room, including dorms (segregated by gender), twin rooms with shared bathrooms, twin rooms with private bathrooms, triple rooms with shared bathrooms, and so on.  Wanting to have some space to ourselves but also wanting to stick to a budget, Craig and I settled on a twin room with shared bathroom.  (However, each stay, we ended up getting put in a triple room with a shared bath, which was no problem…more space for us!)

Our room was equipped with an air conditioning unit (which also works as a heater in the winter) and television (that had a number of English channels, including CNN and BBC).  (For those traveling in Jordan during the winter, this is important to know — Jordan Tower turns on the heat, which was necessary when we were there, once it gets dark in the evening and turns it off in the morning.  We found the heater worked really well at keeping us warm during the night, and the temperature in the room was comfortable during the day.)

Our hall had two bathrooms with a toilet and shower in each.  There was never a time that both of them were full when I wanted to take a shower or use the restroom.  The hotel also has hot water.  I did find that at peak times of the day there was warm water (but not necessarily hot).  However, once I decided to take showers at “off times”, I always had hot water.  Staff frequently cleaned the bathrooms throughout the day.

While most budget hotels don’t usually have a place to secure your valuables, Jordan Tower had a cabinet in the room that could be locked.  It was nice to be able to lock up our computers and other valuables during the day while we were out and about.

Two of my favorite parts of the room were:  #1- it was non-smoking (which can be hard to find on a budget!) and #2 – the view out the window.  Beautiful view!  While we were in the heart of downtown, I didn’t find the room that noisy and loved being able to look out over the city through our window.

My least favorite part of the room was, unfortunately, the lack of wifi in the room.  There was free wifi available in the lobby all hours of the day.  (Craig also reported that he did get wifi from the male dorm room, which was on the first floor.)

Food

Out of all the hotels we stayed in in Jordan, Jordan Tower Hotel had the best breakfast.  There were three different options each morning.  Our favorite included coffee or tea, scrambled eggs, beans, a tomato, a small frankfurter, bread with three different spreads, and a slice of cake.  We were also always offered more bread if we wanted.  Breakfast was served from 7:00 am to 10:00 am…so, good timing whether you wanted to get up early or sleep in.

One of the breakfast options

More of breakfast

In addition to the great breakfast, the hotel sold water and sodas.  (However, we found the prices to be a bit higher than those on the street.)  On the first floor of the hotel was also a restaurant (the Chillax Cafe) that was affiliated with the hotel.  They had a number of food options, including soup of the day and bread for just 1.20 JD (or approximately $1.70 USD).  Hotel guests could eat their breakfast in the cafe after 9:30 am or just go and sit in the restaurant and use the wifi without being pressured to order anything.

As the hotel as a number of food options, they request that guests do not bring in outside food and drinks.  While we understand this rule, it would have been nice to be able to bring food back, sit in the lobby, watch TV, and use the internet.

Location

The location of hotel was perfect for exploring the sights of Amman.  You could walk to the Roman Theater, Forum, and Odeon in 3 minutes; the Citadel in 45 minutes to an hour; Hashem Restaurant in 7 minutes; King Abdullah Mosque in 45 minutes; the Jordan Museum in 30 minutes; and much more.  There were also a number of budget eating options not far from the hotel, including Cairo Restaurant, Hashem Restaurant, and Al Basha.  We found it very easy to see pretty much all of the sights of Amman from the hotel on foot.  (Lonely Planet even has a downtown walking tour that goes by the hotel.)

Being downtown, the hotel is fairly central to Amman’s multiple bus stations.  The North Bus Station (Tababour), as well as the north JETT Office, were a 2 – 3 JD taxi ride away (make sure to negotiate!), and the South Bus Station (Wahdat/Al Janoob) was about the same.  The JETT Office at Abdali should have been around 1 JD away; however, we were never able to get there cheaper than 2 JD.

Facilities

As I mentioned earlier, the hotel is affiliated with a restaurant on the first floor of the building and also has a lobby and eating area where most guests congregate in the evenings.  During the cold winter nights, there was heat in the lobby so it wasn’t too bad in the evenings.  The lobby also had a TV (we watched part of the Super Bowl there!) and a number of resources to read about travel in Jordan and the region.  

Wifi was primarily available in the lobby.  The speed varied, depending on how many people were in the lobby at once.  Some days, I was easily able to Skype with friends and family.  Other days, it was near impossible due to so many people using the connection at once.

On top of the hotel was a rooftop terrace that guests can access.  This was a great place to watch the sunset, see the Citadel, and take in the city.  I definitely recommend that you spend some time on the roof, even if the evenings are chilly in the winter!

Staff

The staff of Jordan Tower Hotel were great.  From Haz (one of the owners) to those cooking breakfast and cleaning the rooms, everyone was very friendly and welcoming.  They were always willing to provide assistance and even just chat to hear about your day.  The staff kept the hotel very clean, and we found Jordan Tower to be one of the cleanest places we stayed during our round-the-world travels.  Staff replaced towels, cleaned up in the rooms every day, and cleaned the hall bathrooms multiple times per day.  As Craig and I were moving around a lot and stayed in the hotel on three separate occasions, we found it easiest to email with Haz to coordinate our booking.  He was always prompt with his response and helped to accommodate our travels. A big thank you to Haz and his team for a wonderful stay at Jordan Tower!

Travel Assistance & Tours

In addition to being a great place to stay, Jordan Tower also organizes tours to sights within Jordan and in surrounding countries.  We decided to go on the “Eastern Desert Tour,” which cost 28 JD (or approximately $40 USD).  We shared a car with two other guests — one from Australia and one from Germany.  It was a great way to check out an area of the country that many often miss.  We visited several desert castles (which are more like lodges) and stopped at the Azraq Wetlands Reserve.  It was a full day trip.  The eastern desert is very different other parts of the country, and I’m particularly glad that we took this trip!  We also had Haz organize a car for us to travel to Bethany-by-the-Jordan.  Public transit options seemed limited, and there was still snow on the ground the day we wanted to go, so it was easier to just organize a car and driver (for a reasonable price) through the hotel.

Overall, I recommend Jordan Tower Hotel.  We really enjoyed our time there and always recommend it to people passing through Amman.  Budget friendly, in the heart of downtown Amman, a great atmosphere, delicious breakfast, and local hospitality!

Sunset from Jordan Tower Hotel

Disclosure: I received a discounted rate during my stay in order to facilitate this review.  As always, this did not affect my review in any way, and all opinions are my own!

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Tara M.
    July 15, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    How amazing! We love reading your posts and learning about all these fascinating places to visit. It brings us great joy to know that people are enjoying wonderful adventures and sharing their authentic experiences. Thank you for stepping out into the world and taking the time to make such a positive difference. Keep shining your light.

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